The highly-anticipated Buena Vista Street and Cars Land areas of Disney California Adventure finally opened to guests over the weekend in the form of Annual Passholder, D23 and Club 33 previews. The special-ticketed preview events gave guests sneak peeks at the new attractions, shops, restaurants and entertainment the new lands will offer when they officially open June 15. To continue to whet the appetite of park guests, California Adventure’s Blue Sky Cellar preview center ammended their current Cars Land preview with a small exhibit showcasing the fictional history of Radiator Springs. Meanwhile, Disneyland continued on its own projects, with the Carnation Cafe and the Matterhorn Bobsleds both nearing their own reopening dates. In Downtown Disney, the new WonderGround Gallery opened with shockingly high prices on trendy new Disney-inspired art and collectibles.

You may notice our format here at Dateline Disneyland and MiceChat has changed. You’ll continue to see changes over the next few weeks as we adjust our format as we transition to our new home. In the future, Dateline Disneyland will be split up into smaller portions that are easier to read and share with your friends and family. You’ll see a taste of that today with our Disney California Adventure coverage. Thank you for reading and your patience as we change to bring you a better MiceChat!

Get a closer look at today’s update! You can now click on any photo in today’s column for a large, high-resolution version of the image.

[center]Inside Dateline Disneyland[/center]

For Buena Vista Street and Cars Land coverage, see our separate features here:

[center]Sponsored by TouringPlans.com | Do More. Wait Less.[/center]
[center]WELCOME TO DISNEYLAND![/center]

Disneyland is gearing up to enter its biggest summer season in decades. Our friends at Touring Plans are here again with their weekly crowd forecast to help you plan your visit.

This will be a very interesting week at Disneyland Resort. Disney California Adventure will be closed to the general public for a media event on the 14th; that, plus Grad Night at Disneyland should make for an extremely busy day there. Then, on the 15th, the Grand Reopening of Disney California Adventure kicks off what should be the busiest summer season in the history of Disneyland Resort. TouringPlans.com can help you navigate the parks with our per-park Crowd Calendar, Lines – Mobile Wait Times App that gives access to current and estimated wait times for attractions, and Touring Plans detailing the best plan of attack for hitting the attractions. With huge summer crowds on the horizon, it’s a good time to subscribe to TouringPlans.com to plan your strategy to avoid the crowds!

Below are the predicted resort-wide crowd numbers for select days generated by the TouringPlans professional statisticians as measured for the upcoming week. For the access to the full year and per-park crowd level predictions, visit our Crowd Calendar.

— Fred Hazelton, Statistician, TouringPlans.com

[center][/center] [center]Resort-Wide
Crowd Calendar Prediction
[/center]
[center]Crowd Tips[/center]
Tues., June 12 [center]5 /10[/center] Here are some quick-hit notes that we hope you’ll find helpful as you prepare your visits for the week:

  • Full block outs on Saturday.
  • More Grad Nites this week.
  • Due to its incredibly low capacity, consider starting your day by grabbing a FastPass to Radiator Springs Racers, then doing Luigi’s Standby.
Wed., June 13 [center]5 /10[/center]
Thu., June 14 [center]10 /10[/center]
Fri., June 15 [center]9/10[/center]
[center]Crowd levels are based on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the least crowded conditions and 10 being most crowded.[/center][center]See Disneyland crowds for the next 365 days.
Get Disneyland wait times on youriPhone, Android, or Smartphone.
Do more. Wait less.
[/center]

[center]MAGIC KINGDOM MAKEOVERS
[/center]

Carnation Cafe is set to reopen Wednesday after a major expansion project. Still, work continued at the dining location through the weekend, with a tarp covering up views of the outdoor dining patio.

At the end of Main Street, work on the new Fantasy Faire princess meet-and-greet area continues. The canopy on the old Carnation Plaza Gardens stage area has been removed.

Meanwhile, the Matterhorn Bobsleds continue testing as the attraction prepares to reopen on Friday after a major refurbishement that began in January.

[center]CALIFORNIA CONSTRUCTION[/center]

[center]BUENA VISTA STREET
[/center]

For fees ranging between $50 and $500, Annual Passholders, D23 members and Club 33 members were able to take a sneak behind construction walls this weekend at the new Buena Vista Street and Cars Land areas at Disney California Adventure. For a look at the new Buena Vista Street, please join Dateline Disneyland on a trip down Buena Vista Street.

The Carthay Circle Restaurant continues to set itself up to be the premier dining location at the Disneyland Resort, now boasting an impressive 92 sommeliers on staff when it opens June 15.

Carthay Circle Restaurant at Disney California Adventure Park to Open with 92 Sommeliers

Carthay Circle Restaurant will be the first restaurant in the world to open its doors with 92 sommeliers, according to Gary Maggetti, General Manager of Food & Beverage and Store Operations at Disney California Adventure park.

The Carthay Circle Restaurant team passed their introductory level sommelier exam, which is the first of four arduous levels required to attain the coveted rank of Master Sommelier.

“We have 250 international wines, with 30 wines available by the glass in the restaurant and lounge,” says Joy Cushing, Carthay Circle Restaurant manager, an Advanced Sommelier working toward her Master Sommelier status.

The sommeliers will staff both the 256-seat upstairs restaurant and the 68-seat lounge on the ground floor of the beautiful Carthay Circle Theatre. [ FULL STORY ]

Construction walls remain up around Buena Vista Street during preview events.

Disney has announced a special merchandise event for California Adventure’s relaunch on June 15. The merchandise will feature a variety of apparel, collectibles, pins and Vinylmation all designed to commemorate the park’s June 15th grand reopening.

June 15 Special Merchandise Offerings at Disney California Adventure Park
The big day is almost here! For those of you amazing Disney Parks fans out there wondering if there will be any limited-edition commemorative merchandise available as part of this historic Disney milestone … well, you can bank on it! Here’s your first look at some of the key collections and special merchandise offerings debuting June 15 at the Disney Animation Building in Disney California Adventure park.

Created specifically for the Grand Reopening, this retro-inspired graphic, with its tonal color, captures the magnificent additions and classic icons of Disney California Adventure park. You’ll find this art on a selection of items including tees, a hat, tote, watch, tumbler and coins.

If pins and Vinylmation are what you are after, then this is the place to go. There are approximately 17 different pin items available, most limited editions, including a jumbo pin, sculpture, framed set and a limited-release mystery set. Three Vinylmation will also debut including the limited-edition 9-inch Buena Vista Street and 9-inch Radiator Springs Racers and the limited-release 3-inch Red Car Trolley Grand Opening.

For a complete look at all of these items, check out this special Merchandise Catalog. [ FULL STORY ]

[center]CARS LAND
[/center]

Construction walls around the entrance to Cars Land have been replaced with hedges and attraction posters as we approach the land’s grand opening.

Lighting equipment for the Cars Land grand opening is also going up across from the land’s main entrance.

The temporary FASTPASS ditribution area for Radiator Springs Racers is ready to go with signage up, but covered for the time being.

The new 12-acre Cars Land is positioned to be a smach success with park guests this summer, providing an impressive, immersive portal into Radiator Springs. Rich with detail and featuring fantastic attractions and dining locations, the new land is some of Disney’s best work in years. For a better look at Cars Land, race over to our Cars Land overview.

[center]HISTORICALLY HISTORIC[/center]

As Annual Passholders take a sneak peek at Radiator Springs, the Blue Sky Cellar has been updated with an entertaining new feautre that chronicles the history of Radiator Springs through photos, artifacts and other items from Carburetor County.

Sally Carera welcomes you to the Radiator Springs Historical Society’s Museum of the History of Radiator Springs.

The exhbiit occupies the Blue Sky Cellar’s screening room. Instead of preview videos of upcoming attractions, the HD TV now shows a timelapse video of the Radiator Springs’ growth as a small town on Route 66. This feature will be swapped out with the new “Time Travel Mater” short when Disney debuts it at the Blue Sky Cellar starting June 15.

Walls are lined with photos, historical documents, newspaper clippings and other notable bits of Radiator Springs history

The animated map of California Adventure has been removed for the new exhibit.

All of the lighting fixtures in the room have been fixed with oil bottles.

Display cases feature additional souvenirs and ephemera

[center]PACIFIC WHARF & PARADISE PIER[/center]

The new Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop officially opened Thursday on Pacific Wharf. The new location already draws big crowds and will continue to do so throughout the busy summer season.

Disney released a video clip of the opening day festivities.

A neat new sign has been added to the facade

Soda Fountain menus have been added to the menu case outside the shop

On Paradise Bay, World of Color is preparing to introduce a new addition to the nighttime water show. Light-up Mickey Mouse ear hats that change color along with the show are expected to debut this summer and Annual Passholders are being invited to test out the new “Glow with the Show” feature at free, private after-hours events later this June. Details below.

Annual Passholder Glow with the Show Ears Screening

Annual Passholders, RSVP in advance for your chance to attend a private performance — after regular park closing — of World of Color.

At this special event, try out the brand new Glow with the Show Ears that interact with the World of Color performance. Complimentary ear hats will be included with the screening. Confirmed Passholders and each of their Guests must be valid Annual Passholders on the day of the event.

Event Location

Paradise Pier in Disney California Adventure Park

Event Time and Dates

  • Thursday, June 28, 2012 at 11:45 p.m. (For Southern California, Deluxe, Premium and Premier Annual Passholders)
  • Friday, June 29, 2012 at 11:45 p.m. (For Deluxe, Premium and Premier Annual Passholders)
  • Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 11:45 p.m. (For Premium and Premier Annual Passholders)

As the private screening will be after regular park hours, all attractions, shops and restaurants will be closed during this event.

RSVP Instructions

To register yourself and up to three (3) Annual Passholder Guests for this event:

  • Visit any open ticket booth in the Disneyland Resort Main Entrance Esplanade. Registration must occur in person at a Disneyland Resort Main Entrance Ticket Booth.
  • Present your active Annual Passport and a valid, government-issued Photo I.D. as verification of your eligibility to register for the event.
  • Based on availability, select your desired event date.
  • Upon completion of your RSVP, the Cast Member will give you a voucher, required for admission to the event.

Registration will close at 11:00 p.m. (PST) on Thursday, June 21, 2012, or as soon as event capacity is reached. Space is limited and based on availability. [ MORE INFORMATION ]

[center]DOWNTOWN CHANGES
[/center]

The Uva Bar in Downtown Disney reopened last week following a quick refresh.

The dining location looks great.

Colorful tables and tilework

A look at the menu

Nearby, the new WonderGround Gallery opened Saturday. The new high-end urban art store sells a variety of very pricey contemporary Disney artwork.

The OC Register had more on the new gallery on their Around Disney blog:

New Downtown Disney gallery sells pricey, urban art

If you think Disney merchandise is pricey, check out the new storefront in Downtown Disney.

The highest-priced item — a five-foot-tall tin statue of a “Brave” princess’ dress — costs $15,900. A custom-painted, vinyl statuette shaped like Lightning McQueen is $2,000. For a less-expensive piece of art, a stretch, canvas painting goes for $175.

The WonderGround Gallery, which opens Saturday, is unlike any store that Disney has run before. But the targeted customer is clear: Disney fans ages 20 on up in a little more trendy lifestyle “with some disposable income,” said Janet Knox, general manager of Downtown Disney.
”We do retail usually with a ton of merchandise,” Knox said. “This space feels very much like a blank canvas.”

The gallery showcases and sells art, as well as gift shop items, including jewelry, books and household items. A sticker booklet starts at $4.95.
But the appearance veers away from the classic Disney art seen on Main Street, U.S.A. Disney commissioned 25 artists to produce modernized translations of Disney and Pixar characters and scenes.

The first exhibit has a Pixar theme, including a painting of “The Incredibles” that looks like a comic-book cover and paper sculptures of a “Finding Nemo” scene. Exhibits will last about six months. [ . . . ]

WonderGround will host artists who will produce items onsite. June’s artist in residence is Noah, who has produced art for Disney and has a strong following. He custom-painted 25 Vinylmation statuettes shaped like Lightning McQueen from “Cars.” The statuettes will be released Saturday and sell for $595 each. [ . . . ] [ FULL STORY ]

Meanwhile, work continues slowly at the new Earl of Sandwich restaurant.

[center]THIS AND THAT[/center]

Back in California Adventure, the Bug’s Land mural is still under tarps

In Disneyland, the Little Red Wagon corn dog cart on Main Street is now using a system where a Cast Member takes guest orders in line, where they can pay immediately with a credit card and then just have to pick up their order at the window.

[CENTER]
Dateline Disneyland is sponsored by our good friends at the

Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel & Water Playground.[/CENTER]
A short walk from the park, HoJo Anaheim is conveniently located next to Matterhorn Mountain at Disneyland with nearby dining, freeway access, FREE parking and FREE Wi-Fi. For more information on HoJo Anaheim, room rates, or to book your stay today, visit HoJoAnaheim.com/MiceChat

[CENTER]MiceChat.com and Annual Passholder Discounts Available Every Day![/CENTER]
The HoJo Anaheim is now offering deeper discounts for Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders! On select nights, Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders can get rooms for as low as $59 per night, plus tax. For more information visit the HoJo Anaheim Innsider Boards which features an up-to-date listing of available nights, or call (714) 776-6120 and ask for In-House Reservations to book. If your date isn’t listed, the HoJo Anaheim still offers rooms for 20% off their best available rate if you call (714) 776-6120.

[center]

[center]WEEKLY NEWS & INFORMATION ROUND-UP[/center]
[center]Weekly Theme Park Hours
June 11 – 17, 2012
[/center]
[CENTER][B]Disneyland Park[/B][/CENTER] [CENTER][B]California Adventure[/B][/CENTER]
[CENTER]Monday:
8 am – 12 midnight
Tuesday-Thursday:
8 am – 11 pm
Friday-Sunday:
8 am – 12 midnight[/CENTER]
[CENTER]Monday:
10 am – 9 pm
Tuesday:
10 am – 10 pm
Wednesday:
10 am – 9 pm
Thursday:
CLOSED
Friday
9 am – 11 pm
Saturday-Sunday:
8 am – 11 pm[/CENTER]
[CENTER]For a complete listing of theme park hours,
visit the Disneyland.com Theme Park Calendar
[/CENTER]
[center]Expected Crowd Levels[/center] [center]presented by TouringPlans.com[/center]
[CENTER][B]Disneyland Park[/B][/CENTER] [CENTER][B]California Adventure[/B][/CENTER]
[CENTER][B]MEDIUM-HIGH[/B]
[B]3.1—10.0[/B] out of 10[/CENTER]
[CENTER][B]MEDIUM-HIGH[/B]
[B]4.2—9.5[/B] out of 10[/CENTER]
[CENTER]Crowd levels are based on a scale from 1 to 10,
with 1 being the least crowded conditions and 10 being most crowded.

[B]For crowd predictions for the next 365 days, visit
[/B]
[center]Closure and Refurbishment Schedule[/center]
[b][center]Disneyland Park[/center][/b]
  • [b]Matterhorn Bobsleds:[/b] Closed for major refurbishment including the addition of new ride vehicles through June 14, 2012.
  • [b]Carnation Cafe, Blue Ribbon Bakery:[/b] Food service locations are closed for major remodel and set to reopen June 13, 2012.
[b][center]Disney California Adventure[/center][/b]
  • [B]Mad T Party:[/B] New nighttime dance party currently in soft openings. Will officially begin June 15, 2012.
  • [B]Buena Vista Street:[/B] Re-themed main entrance including new Red Car Trolley attraction are under construction through summer 2012.
  • [B]Cars Land:[/B] New 12-acre land opens summer 2012.
  • [B]Disney California Adventure:[/B] Entire park will be closed to the public to apply finishing touches and for a media event on June 14, 2012.
[b][center]Downtown Disney and Disneyland Resort Hotels[/center][/b]
  • [B]Compass Books and Cafe:[/B] Book store and cafe closed permanently March 31. Earl of Sandwich dining location to open in space late-spring 2012.
Aright, that wraps up this week’s Dateline Disneyland, but this isn’t all! Be sure to check out our Buena Vista Street and Cars Land overviews also available today! And make sure you return throughout the week for more in-depth looks at California Adventure’s new offerings.

Thank you for reading and please be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below! Thanks again to Fishbulb for some extra help with photos this week. Don’t forget to visit our great sponsors over at Touring Plans when planning your next visit to Disneyland!

You can help us by buying yourself something through one of our Amazon.com product links! All you need to do is click on any Amazon link you see in today’s column. It doesn’t cost you anything, but your purchases will help support Dateline Disneyland so we can keep the updates coming to you every week! To start shopping on Amazon using our referral code, click any Amazon item in today’s update or click here.

We’re only here because of your continued support. If you’ve enjoy Dateline Disneyland over the last five years, please consider helping us out by donating a buck or two so we can pay the bills and keep the updates coming! You can donate with a click of a button via PayPal — click here!

Don’t forget that MiceChat has lots of new content throughout the week! For even more Disneyland news, photos and information check out the In the Parks column on Fridays. And [b]MiceChat’s[/b] Weekend Update tours the world of Disney theme parks and other worldly sights and landmarks! See you at Disneyland!

[B]- Andy[/B]

[CENTER]Please support our sponsors



[/CENTER][B]FTC-Mandated Disclosure:[/B]
Promotional consideration for the June 11, 2012 edition of [I]Dateline Disneyland[/I] was provided by:
[center]TouringPlans.com
Do More. Wait Less.
[/center]

  • mratigan

    Thanks andy

  • Emmanuel_4

    Great Update!!!!

  • SpectroMan

    I didn’t care for most of the artwork at Wonderground, but the concept has possibilities. Seeing Noah working on a painting live was a huge treat.

  • Fishbulb

    Great coverage Andy!